Ted Rall


July 6, 2009 by  

Ted Rall

Michael Jackson, RIP

July 6, 2009 by  

shane white


July 4, 2009 by  

Last night was the Fremont Zombie Walk here in Seattle. They were attempting to break the world record for the most zombies gathered in one area and according to early later reports I think they achieved this. So like a busker I cobbled together this idea at the last minute thinking that this might be a great opportunity to A) Promote my website and book, THINGS UNDONE B) Draw from life (or from death whichever you prefer) and get paid a little C) Draw zombies so that if I messed up, nobody would know and D) Get out into the public and mix it up a little. I mean, I figured why not try it at least once?

So how did it go?

I worked my ass off!
It was a non-stop flow of people from 6:30-7 until 9:30. I never looked beyond the clients I was drawing and so I really couldn’t tell what the heck was going on. It was a blur. I so wanted to chill afterwords but was too damn tired so I left the masses to feed on themselves.

Ryan Reiter and the people that volunteered were real pros. They were organized, friendly and really had their act together. To be honest though I stood out like a sore thumb. I think I was the only person there who wasn’t covered in blood or viscera.

Anyways, thanks to those who stopped by.



September: Joe & Azat and Eurotica brings back out The Story of O

July 2, 2009 by  

In September, as solicited for presently in comics shops, NBM presents Jesse (Flower & Fade) Lonergan’s next GN:

Joe is an American in the strange land of Turkmenistan who finds a good friend in Azat, a Turkmen dreamer whose optimism knows no bounds. With tales of doomed desert cab rides, nights of endless vodka shots, unlikely Turkmen business schemes, and secret girlfriends, Lonergan captures not only the bizarreness of living in a country where the president for life launches copies of his poetry books into space, outlaws gold teeth and renames the months and days, but also reveals that there is hope in seemingly hopeless situations. Based loosely on Lonergan’s Peace Corps experience in the former Soviet republic.
6×9, 104 pp., B&W trade pb.: $10.95, ISBN 978-1-56163-570-2

Jesse’s been blogging regularly about this book and other musings. This is an entertaining travelog of sorts, a great bit of escape into the wilds of the world (see the preview pages). If you’ve missed his Flower & Fade, check it out. It’s about a relationship that comes and goes. Sounds run of the mill, right? Well, it’s how Jesse handles it that’s, once again, quite entertaining and different. See the previews.

Also of note this September is Eurotica bringing back out the long out of print classic The Story of O as adapted to comics by erotic comics master Guido Crepax. We started Eurotica back in the late eighties with this great masterpiece of bondage and sold tens of thousands of copies in a few volumes over the years. But this time we’re doing it as an omnibus, as they like to call ‘em now, and a handsome clothbound edition as we did for First Time.

With all the bunk readily available in adult on the net, Eurotica continues to provide something worth actually keeping on your shelf:

Pauline REAGE • Guido CREPAX
The classic is back! Pauline Reage’s classic of submission and bondage shocked the world when it came out in the fifties. The great Italian erotic comics artist Crepax then adapted it into comics in the mid seventies. Eurotica started with this book and sold tens of thousands of copies in a multi-volume edition. The story of a beautiful Parisian fashion photographer who, out of love for her man, is willingly blindfolded, chained, whipped, branded, pierced, and taken by many men in all ways, O is one of the all-time great classics of erotic literature and Crepax’ adaptation stands equally as one the great classics of erotic comics. Out of print for some years, it is now brought back in a beautiful, library-worthy omnibus edition with gold stamped jacket and cloth.
8 1/2 x 11, 176pp., B&W jacketed hardcover, $24.95,
ISBN 978-1-56163-573-3

See more including preview pages (go to Coming Up, you must be over 18)


Comic Book Resources does a week of NBM reviews

July 2, 2009 by  

On CBR’s Comics Should Be Good blog, Brian Cronin is in the process of reviewing a number of our books and started with a hailstorm of protests, reviewing First Time the erotic comics anthology our imprint Eurotica (go to the author gallery and choose Sybilline, you must be over 18) published earlier this year.

You see, Brian actually had the, um, balls to post a number of explicit pages from the book. Go see the amusing string of comments that ensued (but we will warn you you do need to be over 18).

Anyway, his review is quite positive calling its artwork ‘stunning’ and recommending the book.

Brian has also reviewed Arlene’s Heart since where he was less enthusiastic about the story but thought the art impressive as well. See his review.

shane white

The Shape of Things Undone

July 1, 2009 by  

Silhouettes help define character.

Silhouettes help define character.

It helped to establish the character shapes in THINGS UNDONE so that their personalities could be clearer to read in their body language. In some cases it worked out clearly in others like the two toward the end they’re very similar. It more or less worked to my advantage as the last three characters in this line-up moved as one and kind of book-ended the squatty fellow.

If you’re in San Diego for the Comicon, I’ll be there on Friday & possibly Saturday. I’ll have to look at my schedule, but stop on by we should have advanced copies of the book there.


Ted Rall

Financial Times Rips Off Ted Rall

July 1, 2009 by  

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<a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://media.ft.com/cms/dace1ccc-63f2-11de-a818-00144feabdc0.jpg”><img style=”display:block; margin:0px auto 10px; text-align:center;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 470px; height: 287px;” src=”http://media.ft.com/cms/dace1ccc-63f2-11de-a818-00144feabdc0.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”” /></a>

You don’t have to be a regular reader to know that I’ve been depicting Barack Obama in Hello Kitty regalia for about one year: flags, banners, you name it. Most recently, I did an <a href=”http://rall.com/gallery2/d/11239-2/6-22-09.jpg”>Obamaman cartoon</a> that depicts our lame superhero president wearing a Hello Kitty logo on his chest.

Now a sharp-eyed FOR points out that an illustrator for the Financial Times has rather brazenly <a href=”http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/706bbcde-640d-11de-a818-00144feabdc0.html”>ripped off my meme</a>.

Usually, these things are less than cut and dry. But it’s pretty hard to believe that any illustrator could be unaware of my use of the Hello Kitty imagery to define Obama–it ain’t as branded as Generalissimo El Busho yet, but come on. This one fails the smell test.

Suffice it to say that, if this sort of thing annoys you, it is possible to <a href=”http://www.ft.com/comment/letters”>email the Financial Times a letter to the editor</a>.

Ted Rall

Michael Jackson, RIP

June 30, 2009 by  

Jesse Lonergan


June 29, 2009 by  

I love drawing comics. I like sitting at my desk and figuring out how to lay out a page. I like the smell of india ink. Last Friday I decided to stay in and draw instead of going out for drinks. I love drawing comics. That being said, there are some drawbacks to comics. Sometimes I really wish sound could be gotten into a comic. There’s just something so immediate and powerful about sound. It would be such a wonderful tool to have in my toolbox. I get so envious of movies. If only I could plug in an AC/DC when I need that extra kick. But sadly, there’s no sound in comics.

While working on my new book Joe and Azat I found another drawback to comics, but this is a drawback that I think all media have. No heat. The book takes place in Turkmenistan which is ninety percent desert and hot, hot, hot. There was a two week stretch in the summer where the temperature just hovered around fifty degrees Celsius (which is something like 130 Fahrenheit). I’d open the front door to go outside and it would just be like opening an oven. I wouldn’t even bother stepping outside in the middle of the day. I always had to wear a hat because if I didn’t it felt like my head was about to burst into flames. 

I was constantly sweating. I’d be sitting in my room reading a book at my desk and I’d feel sweat drops rolling down my chest and back. There was one time when I had been working at a summer camp and I was walking home and I realized that I wasn’t sweating. I thought, “Finally, my Vermont raised body has adapted to this heat.” Then I went into a store and bought a bottle of water. Shortly after finishing the bottle I began to sweat again, which means that my Vermont body hadn’t adapted at all. Instead I’d just been so dehydrated there was no sweat left.

It was hot.

Words and pictures just can’t do it justice (and a scene of a guy reading a book and sweating is hardly entertainment). What I really wish I could do is attach some sort of heating unit to the book so people could really get a feeling of what it was like being in Turkmenistan. Sadly, just like sound it can’t be done in comics.

Anyway, when my book comes out in September you should find a really hot place to read it.

And check out my blog for non-Turkmenistan related stuff.

Ted Rall

I Miss Bush

June 29, 2009 by  

The Poor Get Poorer, Presidents Get Worse

SEATTLE—I miss Bush.

Stop the presses and shut off the RSS feeds: the bashiest of the Bush-bashers is starting to appreciate the Exile of Crawford.

I haven’t forgiven George W. Bush for stealing two elections, starting two wars, bankrupting the treasury and doing his damnedest to turn the U.S. into a fascist state. He deserves one of hell’s hottest picnic spots for refusing to lift a finger to bring the 9/11 murderers to justice. Bush was stupid. He was vicious. He should be in prison.

He was the worst president the U.S. had ever had. Until this one.

On major issues and a lot of minor ones, Obama is the same as or worse than Bush. But Bush had an opposition to contend with. Obama has a compliant Democratic Congress. Lulled to somnolent apathy by Obama’s charming manners, mastery of English (and yes, the color of his skin), leftist activists and journalists have been reduced to quiet disappointment, mild grumbling and unaccountable patience.

I don’t care about window dressing. Sure, it’s nice that Obama is intelligent. But policies matter—not charm. And Obama’s policies are at least as bad as Bush’s.

Guantánamo was but the beginning of Obama’s betrayals. First he ordered the camp closed—not immediately but in a year. Now he’s expanding the U.S. concentration camp at Bagram—where 600 innocent men and children are being tortured—so he can send the 245 Gitmo prisoners there. In the Bush era, Gitmo POWs received legal representation. Obama has ordered that the POWs sent to Bagram not be allowed to see a lawyer.

You saw the headline: “OBAMA BANS TORTURE.” But it was a lie. Obama’s CIA director told Congress that there’s a “review process that’s built into [Obama’s] executive order” that allows torture to continue. Leon Panetta said the Obama Administration will keep using at least 19 torture techniques against detainees. In addition, Team Obama will “look at those kinds of enhanced techniques to determine how effective they were or weren’t and whether any appropriate revisions need to be made as a result of that.”

As editorial boards of liberal newspaper tut-tut and the feds convene committees, the screams of the victims pierce the night.

Bush was the biggest spender in history, running up a $1.8 trillion deficit with wasteful wars and tax cuts. But next to Obama, Bush was a tightwad. Glamour Prez hasn’t been around six months, yet the Congressional Budget Office reports that he already has quadrupled the deficit by an extra $8.1 trillion. “The total debt held by the public [will] rise from 57 percent of GDP in 2009 to 82 percent (!) of GDP in 2019,” reports U.S. News & World Report.

Obama is sinking us into financial oblivion 72 times faster than Bush.

Where’d the money go? Mostly to insurance companies. Banks. Brokerage firms. Who used it to redecorate their offices and give themselves raises.

Against logic and history Obama claimed his bailout package would create jobs. Instead, unemployment has risen by 1.3 million. Has Obama’s plan saved a single homeowner from foreclosure? Reporters can’t any.

I liked Bush better. He wasted our money when the economy wasn’t quite as sucky. And he didn’t insult us by pretending to care. Come on, Barack, smirk! Truth in advertising!

I know: he’s a politician. Politicians break promises. As the presidential scholar Stephen Hess says: “There are some pledges that a candidate reverses when he becomes president because things look different. He knows things that he didn’t know then.”

“Some”? Obama hasn’t even tried to keep a single major promise. He hasn’t gotten rid of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” His ballyhooed “cap and trade” law on emissions is toothless. Remember Obama’s pledge to renegotiate NAFTA to strengthen environmental regulations? Forgotten.

In Obama’s case, “things look[ing] different” has meant giving in to entrenched dirtbags, like the spooks who read your emails and the entrenched Pentagon torturers who don’t want us to see photos that make Abu Ghraib look like child’s play.

(An official familiar with the photos in question tells me they include, among other atrocities, U.S. personnel sodomizing a child.)

Obama has done more damage than Bush. And no one’s stopping him. Which makes him worse.

Sorry, Mr. Bush. If I’d known what was coming, I would’ve been nicer.

(Ted Rall, President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, is author of the books “To Afghanistan and Back” and “Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?”)